Features 20 Nov 2014

Industry Insight: WEM’s Kevin Williams

MX Nationals boss on the chances of an Australian MXGP return.

With Youthstream president Giuseppe Luongo announcing at this year’s FIM Motocross of Nations that Australia is on the MXGP radar for an event in 2016, it was only natural that MX Nationals supremo Kevin Williams would have a major involvement in getting the world championships back down under. Leading European website MX Large spoke to Williams about the event earlier this week.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Kevin, thanks for your time. So what is the latest with running another Aussie GP? What is needed to make it happen?

The opportunity to get government support is very important in getting the event back. We have received government support for our national championship, so they are recognising motocross. In the coming three to four weeks I will be meeting with a number of people, and we also have three venues we are looking at. Obviously Broadford in Victoria, a circuit in South Australia and another in Queensland. We have met with their local councils and they are all very keen, so the next avenue is to see what type of state or federal government support we can get for those venues.

You already have a successful series in Australia, but what makes the GP series so special to you?

For me bringing the FIM Motocross World Championships to Australia in 2000 and 2001 was a highlight. Now we now have Australian riders Todd Waters and Dean Waters in the GPs and it is a bit similar to the Chad Reed, Andrew McFarlane era.

Image: Simon Makker.

Image: Simon Makker.

What are some of the biggest obstacles?

Clearly the GP paddock has changed a lot and reading through all the requirements and whether we can comply with that, or if there is room to move in what a GP paddock looks like, that is up to Youthstream. The sanction fee isn’t the problem, it isn’t something we see as unrealistic. What we are looking at is if you look at Broadford in 2000 we ran a successful 500 GP and one person came out to follow how the event ran, then the following year in 2001 we had the 500cc and 250cc GP, and dealt with Dorna and the cost went through the roof and there was 41 staff. If you look at the criteria to run a grand prix with flat pit area, electrical service for all the teams, the internet service, thats something we need to look at, if there is room to be flexible in those areas.

How has the contact been with Youthstream?

I have had contact with Youthstream and we have had a number of conversations. It is something we want to do and we have just secured a new 10 years contract with Motorcycle Australia for the Australian motocross championships, so to be able to work with Youthstream to bring the GP back would highlight motocross in this country, and that is something we have always tried to achieve.